How To Catch Redfish

Redfish are one of the most popular species of fish that any angler would like to catch at one point or another.  They are neither easy nor hard to catch. Not to mention that they make many great dishes on the table. They are available all year around, especially in the areas with a warm climate like Florida and South East America. Still, the best time to go catch some big redfish is in the fall, when they aggregate to spawn.

Redfish tend to feed on many things including crabs, shrimps as well as many aquatic invertebrates. They don’t swim fast but will go quickly suddenly if they want to catch a pass by bait. They often go to school. Hence, is a good choice of fish to catch for different anglers of different abilities.

Click here for more information on when to catch redfish, how to catch redfish, which tackles lures and baits to use and some common questions about catching redfish as well.

Where to catch redfish

Since redfish are inshore species, you don’t have to go far to catch them. They spend their time feeding in the bays, saltwater lagoons, backwater flats as well as estuaries and on the coasts along the beaches.  They also prefer to live in a shallow area as well. Look for an area with a healthy amount of grass as well. This place is popular with shrimps and small baitfish; hence, it is also a place where redfish often go to for feeding.

Where to catch redfish

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A typical redfish will not stay in the same place throughout the year or its life. It will stay in the inlets and estuaries in the spring, summer, and winter. However, in the fall, that redfish will go offshore for spawning. It is worth noting that in some areas, redfish don’t leave their place for spawning but instead spawning inside that place as well. Also in a bright and clear day, redfish will move to shallow areas. On the other hand, redfish will seek shelter in the deep water with dark bottom when the weather is not favorable.

You can also look for redfish in a particular area by looking for a school of mullets. When you see mullet schools jumping in and out of water for food, you will know for sure that the redfish will follow these schools of fish. Another site you should look for is the birds that are feeding along the coastline as well.

Techniques and strategies – How to catch redfish in the most effective way


Combine the right live bait with a suitable jig. For example, you should attach a live shrimp to a float or a jig head. On the other hand, a small fish should be attached to the fishing jig. Different types of water should also be considered when you decide on which jigs to use. For example, if you fish for redfish in deep weed area, go for a Wedgetail grub.

Pay attention to the tide. When the tide rises, an area with a huge flock of creeks and cuts will be easier for preys such as redfish to enter. And this is one of the best chances you can take to catch redfish. Just pick up a shallow spot, wait for the tide to raise and aim for various shallow spots to cast your bait.  Moreover, if there are slack tides, you should go back and wait for another time for fishing.


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In case you fish for redfish in shallow ponds, you should move along very stealthily. If you fish on your boat, padding is better than running your boat with motor. Avoid using motored running boat as it will create large pulses. These pulses are easy to be detected by redfish.

After choosing the right live baits, artificial lure and the right spot to fish for redfish, it is time to cast the bait. Make sure you cast the lure to make it sink parallel to the structure of the area where you go fishing. Remember to retrieve the lure back quickly and as close to you as possible. Redfish are known to be quick but will also know to give up quickly and will not go a long way to get a bite.


If you want to learn how to catch redfish, you need to learn about these fishing systems including still fishing, casting and drifting. Free lining live shrimp is also a popular technique that many anglers use to catch redfish.

To catch tough redfish, you can use the rolling and tumbling technique. This technique should be used in case of a strong current. For this method, all you need to do is cast such as heavy bait that it sinks to the bottom. Then you slowly roll the bait with these strong currents until you get a bite.

Know when to move on. Typically, redfish go in schools.  And if you have stayed in one place without getting any bite in more than 15 minutes, move to other structure.

Tackles, lures, and baits

Test line, Pound Leader and Rod

  • Fishing for small redfish: 6 to 14-pound test line along with a 20 to the 25-pound leader on a rod which is 6 to 7 feet in length.
  • Fishing for big redfish (over 30 inches in length): 20 to 30-pound test line along with a 30 to the 40-pound leader on a rod which is 7 to 8 feet in length.
  • In case you choose the fly fishing technique, go for a lighter test line of 2 to 10 pound with an 8 to 10 weight rig.


There are two types of reels you can consider to catch redfish including spinning reel and baitcasting reel.

  • Spinning reel: It is useful when you pair this reel with a lot of lures such as top water lures and deep water jigs as well as live baits. You can also use this reel when going fishing in many areas such as under docks and mangroves.
  • Baitcasting reel: This type of reel is more suitable for a spinning reel in case you want to catch a big redfish. It is also more effective I thick mangroves or docks. Also, casting with a baitcasting reel allows you to aim further and more accurately.

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Live Baits

Redfish feed on a huge selection of smaller baits. When they are younger, their primary source of food is small crabs. When they get bigger, they often feed on crabs – including small blue crabs and fiddler crabs, shrimp and small species of fish such as mullet, sardines, menhaden shad, and pinfish. They go feeding in schools, and their favorite place is on the bottom.

Choosing the right live baits is the key factor how to catch redfish. When coming to the area where you want to catch redfish, take a look at the habitat and the species which are living in this specific area. Pay attention to the small fish and creatures- these are probably the food of redfish. Using the baits and lures that look like the food that the redfish are usually feeding on will help to trick them better.

These live baits can be used in various ways- free lined or on a slip lead rig. In case you are fishing for redfish in shallow water, you can use are lined bait. The latter choice of bait can be used when redfish fishing in deep water.

Artificial Lures

You can choose a wide range of artificial lures depending on your preference and the conditions of water. For example, in deep water, you should go for a weighted shrimp, jigs, and spoons which mimic the looks of the small fish that redfish often feed on. On the other hand, you can use a top water jig for fishing redfish in shallow water. Other popular types of artificial lures that you can use are plastic swim tails, grubs, weedless spoons and top water plugs.

Artificial Lures

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No matter what types of lures that you are going to use to catch redfish, go for one who smells. Redfish use their nose sniffing around for food, and a smelly lure will quickly catch the attention of a redfish.

Also, according to many anglers, the size and presentation of the lure that you are going to use to catch redfish are more important than the color. Make sure that you throw a lure with the size and presentation that mimic the real bait as much as possible.


These are some of the most important things that you should learn to know about how to catch redfish. It is important that you can find where redfish are feeding. Then with the right tools and techniques, catching redfish will be a relatively easy job. I hope that these pieces of information can assist you to catch these fish. Adhere to these tips and you will be able to catch redfish without any struggle at all.